Sus chords

There are sus2 and sus4 chords. In the first case, the note is flattened and in the second case it's raised. Sometimes the name of the chord is written as "Csus" without any 2 or 4. In this case, you should treat it as a Csus4.

Sus chords are particularly common in pop music. Sus is an abbreviation of ´suspension ´. What happens from a theoretical aspect is that the second note in the chord is flattened or raised one step. It can also be seen as the third is "suspended". For example, in Dsus4 will F# be suspended and replaced with G (Dsus4) or E (Dsus2).

Common sus chords


  • Csus4 chord diagram


  • Dsus4 chord diagram


  • Dsus2 chord diagram


  • Esus4 chord diagram


  • Gsus4 chord diagram


  • Asus4 chord diagram


  • Asus2 chord diagram

More chords

Sus2 chords (Csus2)
Sus4 chords (Csus4)
7sus4 chords (C7sus4)
Barre sus chords

How to use the sus chords

Alternating between the sus and original chord

As always in music, there’re many ways to tackle things. A very common procedure, however, is to alternate between the original chord and the sus chord of the same root note. For example: D to Dsus and back to D ...

D – Dsus4 – D – Dsus2 – D

(This figure can be found in the intro to Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man”.)

A – Asus2 – A – Asus4 – A – Asus2 – A

(This riff can be heard in the Tom Petty song “Feel a Whole Lot Better”.)

A chord progression you can try out to get a sense of how sus chords can function together with its original chord is:

E – Esus4 – E – D – Dsus4 – D – A – Asus4 – A

The examples show a common concept for this particular chord category. The sus chords are used by not substituting the major chord with it, but instead using it together with a major chord. When playing these kinds of chord progressions you should often avoid to lift all your fingers when the chord changes (from major to sus and vice versa). If you are using the correct fingerings you can often lift one finger or add a finger depending on the chord.

As substitution for the major

The suspended chord can also be used instead for the major (or minor) counterpart:

Am - Gsus4 - F

D - Asus4

C - Asus2

In the end of a verse line

Another way to use suspended chords are in the end of a verse line and perhaps before the shift to another song part, as in the example below:

Cm - Bb - F - Gsus4

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Suspended chord inversions

Suspended 4th and 2nd chords are possible to play in numerous configurations including two inversions.

Csus4 can be used as an example:

  • C - F - G (root position)
  • F - G - C (1st inversion)
  • G - C - F (2nd inversion)

To indicate that a chord is played inverted it is written as slash sign before the bass note. For example, the first inversion of the Csus4 chord is written Csus4/F and the second is written Csus4/G. Fingerings follow below in short notation:

Csus4/F: XX301X
Csus4/G: XXX011
Dsus4/G: 300033
Dsus4/A: X00233
Esus4/A: X02200
Esus4/B: X22200
Fsus4/Bb: X13311
Fsus4/C: X33311
Gsus4/C: XXX533
Gsus4/D: XX0013
Asus4/D: XX0230
Asus4/E: 002230
Bsus4/E: 024450
Bsus4/F#: XX4450

The difference between suspended 4th and suspended 2nd

The sus4 chords are often used in combination with its major counterpart. For example, in progressions Dsus4 often come before D major. The reason for this is that the sus4 chord resolves well to its parallel major. As in the following chord sequence:

D – G – Asus4 – A – D

Since the sus2 chord is neither major or minor it can be used in progression when an indefinite sound is wished for. As in the following chord sequence:

C#m – E – Bsus2 – A

Rare suspended chords

As a final, some rare variations in this chord family are presented:

D6sus4: XX0203
E6sus4: 002220
E6sus2: 024600
G6sus4: 330030

Notice that E6sus4 is identical with A/E.

Suspended 4th 2nd chords

Another variation is a merge of the sus4 and sus2. These chords names are traditionally written as this:

Dsus4sus2 chord symbol

In other layout setting, they can simply be written as sus4sus2 or sus4,sus2.

Here are examples of sus4,sus2 chords:

Csus4,sus2: X3303X
Dsus4,sus2: XX0253
Esus4,sus2: 002202
Fsus4,sus2: XX3313
Gsus4,sus2: 300013
Asus4,sus2: X00200
Bsus4,sus2: X24420

Notice that sus4,sus2 is similar with sus4,add9 (sus4add9) and are quite similar to add9, add11.

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